Monday, November 8, 2010

The scanners aren't the only problem

I've done a lot of complaining on this blog. But, aside from stopping the use of scanners, what is the solution? I am opposed to pat-downs as well, on the same 4th Amendment and human natural rights basis: you must suspect a particular individual of a particular crime to violate their inherent sovereignty in their own person.

Are you a social conservative? Then you have a moral sense that all of us should reserve for the bedroom what belongs in the bedroom. Following this logic, men, women, and children should not bare themselves to strangers nor let strangers touch them in inappropriate ways.

Are you a social liberal? Then you stand up for a woman's right to her own body. To quote Julia Roberts in Pretty Woman (hey! I'm a child of the late 80's/early 90's!):
I say who! I say when! I say who!
While you may not care if someone looks at you or touches you in certain ways, you can certainly understand that other people may care. And it is theretheir right to care and be protected from a violation of their rights as owners of their own bodies.

I am guilty of putting up with the various violations of the TSA, airport owners, and airlines (under pre-TSA FAA rules) of my rights.
"Screening" my baggage - this is also known as a warrantless search of my property, in which I have not been suspected of a particular crime. Partially undressing - belt removal may seem harmless, but, again, I am a citizen with free will, correct? What crime am I suspected of that I have to follow someone's commands - or else! Jewelry and money removal puts you in a position to be robbed. Shoe removal is a public health concern that the CDC has remained silent about. I came down with my first case of athlete's foot on a pre-shoe bomber trip to Ireland, and have had regular flare-ups ever since. I pity the people in line behind me at the TSA checkpoints.

If you count the number of people that fly each day and compare that to the number of suspected airline terrorists, you will soon realize that the vast, vast majority of your fellow travelers are just that - fellow travelers. Yes, even the Sikhs are most likely harmless. So, good for the group of American Sikhs who are objecting to warrantless searches of their turbans!

What is the alternative? It's not crazy, unless you've been brainwashed by the last 40 years of federal insanity: the airlines should take full responsibility for security. Think about it: who has the most to lose in such a world if an airline is hijacked? The airline! If US Air gets hijacked every 5 years, but Southwest has never been hijacked, who are you going to fly with? Imagine if:
  • flying out of BWI requires a strip search but guarantees a safe flight,
  • flying out of Reagan National requires that you present ID and walk through a metal detector and there have been no hijacks out of National, and
  • flying out of Dulles takes no security time at all but has been historically linked to hijacked planes,
then where would you fly out of on a trip to/from DC? No rights are being violated if you know up front what the terms are to fly out of a particular airport or with a particular airline. Or, alternatively, the airlines would offer a refund at the gate if you object to their security. There are numerous scenarios that one can imagine to improve on the current circus that is the TSA using private security.

In this little thought experiment, we must also consider why terrorists might target Americans. As anyone knows, getting your rest, decreasing stress, eating right (and good genes) will go a long way to keeping you healthy. So how do we prevent terrorist attacks? Well, let me just say that invading other countries is counterproductive. For instance, Al Qaeda did not exist in Iraq before the US invaded. And, now it does.